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rans6andrew
17th May 2013, 10:00
Yesterday I ordered a few items from a well known supplier of electronics components in the UK. Just a few ICs, some crystals, some FETs and a button cell for my car key fob bipper.

Today I received, by parcel delivery, an A5 size jiffy bag with most of the stuff rattling about in the bottom AND a second shipment labelled up with "CAUTION! Do Not Load Or Transport if Damaged" "Lithium Metal Battery".

This second shipment item, containing the smallest item on my order, came in a shoe box sized cardboard carton (I have size 11 feet and my shoes fit in the box) padded out with brown paper (perfect for starting a fire?) to the extent that I had to unravel it to find the single, individually bagged, CR1632 lithium cell hidden within.

If you consider that most of us carry these items in our pockets/bags on a daily basis and we don't seem to get poisoned, burned or catch fire .......... What a load of nonsense.

Rans6......

Dushan
17th May 2013, 10:14
They obviously did a proper "risk assessment".

vulcanised
17th May 2013, 11:45
It's not only pathetic, it makes life bloody expensive. Where 7dayshop did a good cheap service, it's now near on double the price it was.

Thanks for nothing, Royal Mail, or more likely your Luddite union.

ExXB
17th May 2013, 11:52
Nonsense? Tell that to the family of the crew of UPS 6 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UPS_Airlines_Flight_6)

Lithium batteries are dangerous goods, and special handling is required for transport by air.

TWT
17th May 2013, 12:01
Who said anything about transport by air ? The OP mentions a shipment from a UK company.The OP gives his location as being in the UK.

Lithium metal batteries as bulk cargo in aircraft are indeed hazardous,but a single button cell in a shoebox by road ?

Regardless,regulations have been tightened.For example,latest Royal Mail DG regs:

http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/Royal-Mail-Prohibitions-and-restrictions-domestic-internationa-Jan-2013_2.pdf

According to those regs,even shipping 1 lithium metal button cell on its own by Royal Mail if it is not contained within equipment or as a spare travelling with equipment is prohibited.Taking it a bit too far I think.

Blacksheep
17th May 2013, 12:17
Aircraft fire extinguisher bottle cartridges are 'dangerous goods'. We had to bring replacements (they have a ten year life) in by sea as the air freighters wouldn't accept them for shipment by air. Then we fitted them into aeroplanes and they spent the next ten years flying around. :rolleyes:

Dushan
17th May 2013, 12:32
A few years ago, going ona sailing trip, I was not allowed to bring on board a harness with a self inflating life jacket and a CO2 cartridge. Pointing out that every seat in the aircraft had one of those, with TWO cartridges, stashed under it fell on deaf ears. :ugh::ugh::ugh:

Daysleeper
17th May 2013, 12:49
Who said anything about transport by air ? The OP mentions a shipment from a UK company.The OP gives his location as being in the UK.

Lots of post goes by air so just because the OP and the supplier are both in the same country is no reason to be sure it would not fly.

As for the packaging. Perhaps the supplier or the shipper has a standard policy for dealing with particular types of products. This simplifies business management and, while that may make this case slightly absurd, is good overall for the business on both safety and financial returns.

Cacophonix
17th May 2013, 12:55
Aircraft fire extinguisher bottle cartridges are 'dangerous goods'. We had to bring replacements (they have a ten year life) in by sea as the air freighters wouldn't accept them for shipment by air. Then we fitted them into aeroplanes and they spent the next ten years flying around.

Of course the cartridges if incorrectly stowed do have the potential to cause a fire as was tragically the case with Valujet 592 and there have been other examples of fires in the air and on the ground because of the transportation of these generators as cargo.

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/1997/aar9706.pdf

I think I remember reading somewhere that Captain Sullenberger (he of Hudson landing fame) said he would not be apt to fly with lithium cells as cargo.

Caco

TWT
17th May 2013, 13:20
Good points

lomapaseo
17th May 2013, 13:30
Aircraft fire extinguisher bottle cartridges are 'dangerous goods'. We had to bring replacements (they have a ten year life) in by sea as the air freighters wouldn't accept them for shipment by air. Then we fitted them into aeroplanes and they spent the next ten years flying around

When shipped loosely and jostled they can go off ..... they sputter for a bit giving off oxygen and heat if touched. Not a problem as singles in an overhead. Big problem is they are all in the same cardboard box as they tend to cascade until the box catches fire.

VJ592 and World (?) at the gate in ORD (spare seats in cargo among spare tires)

I would classify lithium batteries as similar

cockney steve
17th May 2013, 13:40
You can now fly round in a plastic Boeing with 2 dirty great big batteries of the least-stable Lithium chemistry on-board.....but you can't SHIP them by air!:ugh::ugh::ugh:

The loonies really are running the asylum. Risk-assesment falls apart when a risk is identified....there is NO penalty for unnecessarily exaggerating the risk, but you're answerable if you get it wrong...the whole thing is a self-fulfilling beurocratic need.

I can guess who the Electronics Component supplier is, for some odd reason, my last Jiffy-bag was couriered, then an envelope arrived a couple of days later with the receipted invoice....no wonder they're so damned dear!

Cacophonix
17th May 2013, 13:46
I suppose we should refer to the following thread for discussion on Lithium batteries in modern aircraft...

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/505455-faa-grounds-787s.html

Caco

lomapaseo
17th May 2013, 15:15
I suppose we should refer to the following thread for discussion on Lithium batteries in modern aircraft...

This is JetBlast

don't clutter it up with sciolists crap :)

I find it more of learning environment down here then R&N at the top. At least here you know the players better and a little inuendo and humour doesn't get you banned

Cacophonix
17th May 2013, 15:19
find it more of learning environment down here then R&N at the top. At least here you know the players better and a little inuendo and humour doesn't get you banned

True! I suspect that my last brain cell may have short circuited there for a moment!

All in all there is a hardier breed down here in the briny waters of JB. ;)

Caco

cdtaylor_nats
17th May 2013, 21:30
Tesco direct shipped me two of them in a padded envelope without any problem

500N
17th May 2013, 21:39
Caco

"All in all there is a hardier breed down here in the briny waters of JB."


You need to be :O

Worrals in the wilds
17th May 2013, 22:53
A well known French designer's outlet in Sydney told me that they could no longer send me perfume by mail order because of 'postal regulations about dangerous goods.' :ugh:

ChrisVJ
18th May 2013, 00:16
Are you guys telling us that "Fire extinguishers" generate 'oxygen?'

Seems counter intuitive to me. The valujet accident was from "Oxygen generators" used for emergency supply of oxygen during decompression. I thought that was something else altogether.

Ogre
18th May 2013, 00:33
I've done a bit of research in the area of hazarodus materials and LiPo batteries, and it's an awkward situation. First off, the potential for the batteries to over heat and catch fire is quite high, that's down to the chemistry and manufacture. Button cells have a smaller chemical load than aircraft batteries or even laptop batteries, but the potential is still there. Try searching Youtube for lithium battery fires, some interesting clips.

So as the regulator for cargo transfers, you don't want people shipping boxes full of batteries without taking the proper precautions. Trouble is, there is no clear legislation on what the minimum quantity is that needs to be shipped with all the precautions and warnings. The dangerous goods code etc are designed for bulk shipments, but no-one says they don't apply to a single button cell.

CityofFlight
18th May 2013, 01:50
Ogre...you are using your brain, which is what few here are doing.

Trucking and air freight are 2 different transportation methods. One is easier to walk away from if idiot shippers don't declare their hazardous materials as per IATA/Cargo. It happens too often, especially by people trying to smuggle Asian goods into other countries for black market sales.

In addition, single items mentioned won't be the problem. But when stored in direct proximity with another hazardous material, then all hell can break loose. When people fail to identify the commodity, the risk becomes even greater.

Trust me....air freight carriers would much rather take the money for transporting goods if the risks were low. They're not at all.

I.R.PIRATE
18th May 2013, 01:53
So would you consider carrying a bunch of LiPo batteries onboard your own aircraft? Not as freight, but in your personal luggage?

lomapaseo
18th May 2013, 02:38
Are you guys telling us that "Fire extinguishers" generate 'oxygen?'


Looks like a copy and paste problem

good thing it happened in Jet Blast and not the R&N forum :)

Cacophonix
18th May 2013, 07:55
I, of course, read the word cartridge and had to assume the intention was oxygen generation as the original poster in question clearly comes from an aviation backgound and is a sensible man to boot

It seems superflous to attend to every slight slip of the pen or tongue here on JB. Some people get their rocks off on apostrophes or the lack thereof or whatever. If that kind of thing makes them more complete as human beings then so be it.

Caco

Cacophonix
18th May 2013, 08:46
I must admit that a fire is something that I dread having experienced an electrical fire (avionics loom shorted out and burst into flame) while flying a light twin en route to Biggin Hill some years ago.

Fortunately it was possible to extinguish the fire by switching off the master switch and judicious use of the fire extinguisher but the the initial heat and ongoing breathing and visibility difficulties have left an indelible impression on me.

It seems sensible to mitigate the risk against fire whereever it is appropriate in my opinion and the carriage of hazardous materials in an aircraft hold is something that should be considered very carefully and conducted within the context of all the relevant regulations if at all.

Caco

Ogre
19th May 2013, 02:16
Caco Which is why if you are carrying spare batteries for cameras, laptops etc. you carry them in hand luggage, and make sure the terminals are covered with tape (to prevent the terminals touching, causing short circuit).

LiPo fires are very difficult to put out, the best thing you can do is remove the heat.

Cacophonix
19th May 2013, 02:20
LiPo fires are very difficult to put out, the best thing you can do is remove the heat.

You are right and don't allow a combination runaway. :ok:

Caco

Worrals in the wilds
19th May 2013, 10:15
Caco Which is why if you are carrying spare batteries for cameras, laptops etc. you carry them in hand luggage, and make sure the terminals are covered with tape (to prevent the terminals touching, causing short circuit). How many shipping companies are going to check that though? How many shippers/passengers are going to take those precuations? Certainly not the majority, and I speak with several years of first hand experience in discovering what people consider to be acceptable airline luggage.

After uncovering fireworks, det cord, a live kitten, a training grenade (looked pretty real :eek:), corrosive substances in jam jars, tins of paint, eight litres of home brew 'gin' (98% ethanol, needed to be diluted with water before drinking according to the proud owner, once confiscated even the Qantas baggies wouldn't touch it :ooh:), a box of live crabs and a bottle of mercury...I can see their point. When questioned, the owners of the aforementioned items (along with the owners of other freaky stuff) all offered variations on the whiny 'what's the problem? It didn't explode' excuse :ugh:. Nor would any of them admit to reading the DG disclaimer prior to check in/boarding.

I know it's a PITA, but I don't blame the freight companies for being cautious. We're all :cool: people who read the disclaimer, but the moronic majority don't. That's who the freight companies have to cater to, and that's why they're cautious. If it stuffs you around, remember that they regularly deal with hairless chimpanzees who call themselves human and will freight/check in all manner of scary stuff because they wanna.